Anime Review: Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere Episode 1

Anime Review:
Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere Episode 1

What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.

Series Premise: Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, or “Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere”, is a weekly anime television series starting in October 2011, based on science fiction light novel series. Set in the distant future, the human race leaves Earth for the stars, only to be forced back and learning that the entire Earth is uninhabitable except for Japan. In order to make room for everyone, “pocket dimensions” were created around Japan, and begin re-enacting history based on the “Holy Testament Book” with the hopes of finding a way to make it to space the second time around. But in the 17th century, the pocket dimensions invade Japan, forcing the residents to flee to a giant ship in the sky, forever circling the island as refugees. It is now 1648, where the history recorded in the Holy Testament Book ends, and the Japanese decide it is time to take back their homeland.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:

Spoiler-free set-up: On Musashi, floating through the sky above Japan, Ms. Oriotorai calls her class to order, instructing them that if any of them can catch her, she will reward them with five tardy passes. As she runs across the ship, the various students give chase, using their various special abilities and powers to ensnare her…all of them without success. When she reaches the final destination, with the entire exhausted class in tow, she gives another lesson on how to beat up an Archdevil. And at that moment one of the stars of the class, Aoi Tori, arrives fashionably late…since he had to stand in line to buy a porno video game. And then proceeds to grope the teacher. Let’s just say teach was not pleased.

My Impressions: I think this series broke my brain a little. It was described as the “story that was unadaptable”, and given how hard it has been for me to wrap my brain around the concept, I fear they may be right.

When I was doing the previews, I must have tried to read the pre-airing synopsis three or four times, and I could not figure out what the fuck this was supposed to be about. Even after watching the first episode, I couldn’t puzzle out the concept behind the story. Only when I sat down to write this little review and re-read the plot off the Wikipedia page did I finally start to get a grasp of the general idea behind the story. I think.

All of that being said…throw the entire series premise out the window. Forget about it completely, because the first episode ignores it almost entirely. Outside of two minutes of exposition at the very end of the episode, the events of the first episode seem to be completely unrelated to the big, grand, sweeping, epic plot. Instead, the first episode is one big catch-me-if-you-can chase intended to introduce about two dozen characters in short order.

And geez, what a motley crew of characters they are! I gotta say that the teacher, Ms. Oriotorai, is the only one that I really like at all, even though it is unfortunate that she is so poor that she seemingly cannot afford a nose. Everyone else is a second-rate reject from every single possible fighting video game you’ve ever seen. It’s like a dozen people sat down at some big committee meeting said “Quick! What sort of character can we create that would be tailor-made to appeal to the most hard-core otaku audience?” Then, when they couldn’t narrow down the choices, decided to keep them all. Ugh.

Do I really need to run down the class roster of rejects? You have an ojou-sama stuck-up bitch with massive cow udders that are so huge they have their own sound effects. You have a white-winged and black-winged angel pair that ride a broom and shoot spells. You have a tsundere girl with massive purple poof of cotton-candy hair that is three times larger than she is. You have some offensive Indian stereotype carrying around a bowl of curry. There’s a shapeless pink blob, some dude with a perverted mind and a baseball cap that shows his expressions. And I think I’ll end there. there’s more, but why bother? It’s too much. They are a motley assortment of anime stew thrown together without apparent rhyme or reason. And I hate them all.

But the worst of the lot is Aoi Tori, Mr. Fashionably Late who ditches class to buy a porno game, and has no shame about it whatsoever. He’s smarmy, smart-alecky, irreverent and looks like he’s a total ass. The least likeable of the lot, and he’s supposed to be the main character?

I don’t think I could take any more of this. This is pretty much the exact opposite of everything that I want to see or like in an anime series. My brain hurts. Dropped. With prejudice.

The verdict:

For more information:

Sampling of Online Reviews:

  • “The first episode of Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere is not going to please everyone. Those looking for some real backstory up front are going to be disappointed not to find it here. Those looking for a lot of action are going to be happy. There is a bit of something for everyone, but time will tell if Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere will be a sleeper hit for this season or just another adaptation that tries too hard to pack the show with everyone at one time. Grade: 3/5.” – Janai Blog
  • “This episode is more like a preview than an actual episode. The PV looks promising at first but its dissapointing after I watched the episode. There are way too many characters to be introduced to the point I can’t keep track of them…I’m gonna stick around for the second episode to see if there are any changes to the development of the story as it is still too early to drop this series yet. Grade: 4.5/10.” – Doragon Den
  • “This inherent convolution is found everywhere, in its premise, in its character designs, and even in the fighting and attacks. And yet, the characters themselves are painfully one-note and unremarkable. It’s as if the story is too ambitious and otaku-centric for its own good.” – Hard Door
  • “This first episode felt like I was watching an extremely long promotional video. Even though it was the first episode I still have no clue of what the story will be like because very little has actually happened besides some flashy action sequences.” – Frozen Anime Blog
  • “I just watched a remake of Infinite Stratos with more boobs and weirder hair. Essentially, this episode is a giant character showcase. The characters consist of Boobs, a red Dr. Manhattan, more boobs, Alphonse Elric as a mecha, more boobs, a Slime from Dragon Quest, a giant muscle man with a bucket on his head, and more boobs.” – The Notaku Blog
  • “To be fair to Hori­zon, it doesn’t appear to be tak­ing its story ser­i­ously either…This is fine, I don’t mind this approach. But Hori­zon seemed to think that the only way it could show how non-seriously it was tak­ing itself was by mak­ing pervy jokes. Please. Stop. It. Japan. Hav­ing a char­achter say that they are going to grope another char­ac­ters breasts is not funny. Please, for christ sake, can you stop this. ” – The Cart Driver
  • “There was a distinct lack of interesting story, however. It was a pretty silly and fanservice-centered first episode that sometimes felt like I was just watching someone play a fighting game than an actual show.” – Metanorn
  • “If nothing else, it is actually entertaining to see that many characters interacting with each other as they want to take down that nimble teacher of theirs. The fact that the Aoi Toori is a fucking retard who fondle his teacher’s breasts without shame is kinda fun…because he’s a total tool. Grade: 6/10.” – Conspicuous Klux
  • “The show almost felt like it was using its action genre for the sake of action to lure you into think it’s so good.” – Sekijitsu
  • “I guess this was supposed to be a fun intro episode to get the viewer hooked. But it failed miserably. Why? Because the viewer has no bloody clue what’s going on. The entire thing was just technobabble. And breasts. HUMONGOUS breasts.” – Draggle’s Anime Blog


Thumbs-up for Round One: Un-Go, Chibi Devi, Working Season 2, Bakuman Season 2, Mirai Nikki, Shinryaku Ika Musume Season 2, Ben-To

Thumbs-down for Round One: Morita-san wa Mukuchi Season 2, Kimi to Boku, C3: CubexCursedxCurious, Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere

Coming up next: Chihayafuru, Guilty Crown, Phi-Brain, Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing, Fate Zero, Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Shakugan no Shana III, Hunter x Hunter, Mashiro-iro Symphony, Tamayura Hitotose, Persona 4, Maken-ki, Cross Fight Bedaman, Digimon Xros Wars II

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One Response to Anime Review: Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere Episode 1

  1. Pingback: Anime Review: Recap of the Fall 2011 Season (after watching the 1st episodes) | This Euphoria!

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